Hyderabad: After staying in the Opposition for nearly a decade, the 2019 assembly (and Lok Sabha) elections will be a make or break situation for YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, who might also be looking to play a role in a coalition government at the Centre this time.
Jagan, who floated the YSRCP in 2011 after leaving the Congress, emerged as the main Opposition in Andhra Pradesh post its bifurcation from Telangana in 2014. While the YSRCP chief is confident of winning, which analysts believe will be with a big margin (of over 110 of the 175 assembly seats), a second loss this time might, however, result in a not-so-pleasant situation for the legacy leader.
If the YSRCP wins, it will be the first time that Jagan becomes chief minister. His father, and former Congress chief minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, died in a helicopter crash in 2009. And like his father, Jagan also undertook a ‘Padayatra’ (walkathon) across AP starting 2007, and walked more than 3,500 kilometers.
A YSRCP functionary, who did not want to be quoted, said the party was confident of winning over 110 of the assembly seats (out of 175) this time. He, however, refused to comment when asked if Jagan will support the Congress or Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre this time. “That depends on the results," he added.
In 2014, the YSRCP won 67 constituencies, while the ruling Telugu Desam party (TDP), which was in an alliance with the BJP, won 102 seats (BJP won 4). However the vote share between the TDP-BJP and YSRCP was just about 2% (both TDP and YSRCP got nearly 45% individually, while the BJP secured 2% of it). Among the 25 Lok Sabha seats, the TDP won 15 seats, BJP 2 and the YSRCP 8.
However, in the 2019 elections, all three parties are contesting on their own as the TDP broke its alliance with the BJP over funding issues to AP last year in March.
“A loss for Jagan will surely jeopardize the YSRCP, because sustaining a regional party is not easy. Losing for a second time will send out a signal that he has no credibility in the state. Obviously that will help Congress. If he doesn’t win at the state level, Naidu will ensure Jagan is not part of a coalition at the Centre. If he wins, he has all the chance to get stronger and formidable," said political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.
Also read: Assembly Elections: Jagan Reddy gets majority in Andhra, Naveen Patnaik in Odisha, show Exit polls